A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book The Ninth: The Carnivorous Carnival

Lemony Snicket


June 2018

$14.99 AU

292p pb

ISBN: 978-1460757147

fp November 2002

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The Baudelaire orphans are back – but this time disguised as freaks! Having ended up in the trunk of Olaf’s car at the end of the last story the unfortunate orphans arrive at the Caligari Carnival in the hinterlands. There they are forced to disguise themselves as freaks, Sunny as Chabo – the Wolf Baby and Violet and Klaus as Beverley and Elliot the two-headed freak. They meet Madame Lulu a fortune teller who has alerted Count Olaf to the whereabouts of the orphans in the past. Will she reveal them to him now….

Full of hints as to VFD, the Snicket files and the existence of a Baudelaire parent this book will have you glued to every word. The treachery of Olaf and people in general is highlighted in the ‘feed the freaks to the lions’ episode. Snicket gets darker and darker as the series goes! 

All clues are leading to the Mortmain Mountains where the VFD headquarters are….or will they be? I look forward to reading the next instalment in this series of unfortunate events, The Slippery Slope.

Stephen, Canberra

A Series of Unfortunate Events #9: The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket is a  fantasy, humorous novel  about three orphans who are trying to find their parents.

In the story the Baudelaire orphans have just escaped from a hospital that caught on fire by jumping into an automobile and were taken away to a carnival called Caligari Carnival where they had to work for Count Olaf. The novel is set in the present in a place called the hinterlands, which is a vast empty place very far from the outskirts of the city. The main characters are Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire, Count Olaf and Madame Lulu. The minor characters are the freaks that work at the carnival and Count Olaf’s troupe. The story is fast-paced and it has a third-person narrator.

I enjoyed the whole story particularly the parts when something bad happened to the Baudelaire orphans. The plot kept my interest throughout the story because of the way the author wrote the book. I think the characters in the story were believable. I would recommend this novel to any one aged 12+ years.

Sahan, Year 7

After reading eight books in this series, and then taking a break, I found this book quite pleasing, as it has intrigued me to read the next two books.  It has a great concept and setting, Snicket really helps me to paint a picture of the setting in my mind, although it would have been better if he didn’t ponder too long on one thing. It is very interesting and I found it very hard to actually put the book down. This (along with Book Two, The Reptile Room) was one of the best in the series so far, and because of this book I am eager to read books ten and eleven.

Snicket’s books can be very far-fetched at times, but I guess it’s just the type of story that he enjoys writing, and many children and adults enjoy reading. Snicket really made me feel sorry for Violet, Klaus and Sunny, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. One flaw was how he ended it, and leaves you hanging – obviously a way of making people buy and read the next book – but I guess you wouldn’t be able to fit much more in this very thick book. The part I particularly enjoyed was when Snicket describes the different types of disguises, and uses Olivia (aka Madame Lulu) as an example. Overall I would label this book as a very interesting, hard-to-put-down novel that advanced or intermediate readers would enjoy, no matter their age. My personal rating: 4.5/5.

Rebecca, Year 6

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